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Proven: pure breeds are more likely to get diseases

The largest canine genetic study in its class reveals what diseases mixed breeds and pure breeds dogs are most likely to develop


A recent study that examined the DNA of more than 100,000 dogs, was conducted by Wisdom Health & Genoscoper Laboratories, the business unit of laboratories created by Mars Petcare to contribute to their purpose of providing a better world to pets, ruled that purebred dogs are more likely to be affected by the most common diseases. The three most commonly affected body systems in purebred and mixed dog populations are:

  • Vision
  • Nervous system
  • Circulatory
  • system

“There has been a traditional perception that mongrel dogs are less prone to disease than purebred dogs. This evidence based on DNA evidence shows that while mongrel dogs are actually less likely to develop the recessive disorders evaluated in the study, they may be carriers,” said Cindy Cole Director General of Wisdom Health. The results showed that of the 152 proven diseases that dogs can develop genetically:

  • Approximately 2 out of 100 mongrel dogs are at risk of being affected and 40 out of 100 are carriers of at least one of the diseases.
  • Approximately 5 out of 100 purebred dogs are at risk of being affected and 28 out of 100 are carriers of at least one of the diseases.

Research also showed that with the proactive management of hereditary disorders through the use of DNA tests and through healthy breeding practices, some diseases appear to have been eradicated from the breeds. As demonstrated by the case of X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (XSCID), a mutation originally found in the Basset Hounds that appears to have been eradicated, breeders and veterinarians may work to reduce the incidence of genetic diseases in dogs. Although this technology is not yet available locally, dog owners looking to take this proactive step in preventive care for their pets can purchase tools such as the WISDOM PANEL™ Health canine DNA test, which is always recommended for use in conjunction with veterinary care. This advanced technology allows owners to easily and inexpensively explore the genetics of the pet for the detection of diseases and breeds. It is available for the recognition of more than 250 breeds, types and varieties and for the detection of more than 150 disease-causing mutations. “What owners are always advised is to share the results achieved with their veterinarian to discuss the future care of the pet,” explained Fernanda Serralta, Technical Service Veterinary in Mars Argentina. “For owners, understanding the genetic diseases that can affect their dog, can help them and their veterinarians design a personalized care and wellness program for their dog,” said Jonas Donner, PhD, head scientist at Genoscoper. “Broadly speaking, for veterinarians to understand what disorders are common across the general population is extremely valuable information for the future of proactive health care.The use of genetic tools for the monitoring and eradication of diseases in different populations can, over time, have a positive effect on purebred and mixed dogs.“.

Publication Date: 23/09/2018

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